KILLEEN — H-E-B and the USO held a Military Spouse Appreciation Day event Friday.

H-E-B beauty advsiors treated paticipating spouses to complimentary hair styling, makeup application and beauty tips. A floral arrangements class was also conducted.

The event is held to acknowledge the contributions, support and sacrifices made by spouses of members of the U.S. military and is part of H-E-B’s support of the men and wmoen of the military.

“We are honored every single day to serve veterans and military service members in our community,” said Debbie Schmidt, H-E-B unit director. “Events like this give us the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to these men and women and to their families for all they have done for our country.”

In addition to National Military Spouses Day, H-E-B partners with Operation Finally Home, the Gary Sinise Foundation, Homes for Our Troops and the H-E-B Tournament of Champions charitable trust to build and give homes to severely wounded service members and their families. Since 2013, H-E-B and the H-E-B Tournament of Champions have built 17 mortgage-free, fully furnished homes across Texas for wounded service members.

In 2013 H-E-B started a companywide campaign called H-E-B Operation Appreciation, a year-round program to honor and employ veterans and service members. Since the program began H-E-B has hired more than 1,750 veterans or active duty service members and mailed moret han 1,000 care packages to deployed service members during the holidays.

“Our company greatly benefits from the military experiences of the thousands of veterans who work at H-E-B,” said Winell Herron, Group Vice President of Public Affairs, Diversity and Environmental Affairs for H-E-B. “It is our privilege to thank and honor them. We hope everyone in the community will join us in honoriing our veterans every day.”

For Dayana Benavidez, the event was important to recognize the challenges her and others face as a military spouse.

“You have to hold the fort down,” Benavidez said.

Benavidez says it can sometimes feel like being a single parent when her husband is deployed overseas or in the field and knowing how to do simple day-to-day tasks like changing a blown tire can make all the difference. Preparing her children for deployments is another daunting challenge.

“My husband records video messages saying ‘good morning’ and ‘goodnight’ helps remind the children,” Benavidez said.

Getting the recognition for something you have to just take head on was the most memorable part for Benavidez.

“It was very nice and sweet to be taken care of and get the pampering we often don’t give to ourselves,” Benavidez said.

jdouglas@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553

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